Jon Stewart’s embarrassment of credibility

I’ve previously expressed my admiration of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – so much so that, when Channel 4 announced that it would no longer show the satirical comedy show on its digital channel More4, I subscribed to receive episodes via iTunes.

What has always impressed is how he is willing to defend himself from the attacks that come at him, predominantly from the right wing of the US media – because that’s where he finds most of his material.

This weekend, he appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, fulfilling an agreement they made when Wallace was on the Daily Show. He starts off amused, then bemused, at some points seems to get angry, all the while making Wallace’s position seem all the more sneering and smug.

The killer quote for me:

The embarrassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.

He also raises the point that a University of Maryland study found that Fox News viewers were more likely to be consisently misinformed than consumers of other news media.

The interview in full:

Two broadcasters who get it about the gay thing

After all the [Moyles](http://www.matthewman.net/articles/2006/06/06/the-bbc-governors-are-spastics) business, it’s nice to see two broadcasters (both straight) who get it.

First off, [Andrew Collins](http://www.wherediditallgoright.com/BLOG/2006/06/this-man-is-gay.html):

> But if it is expected to use gay as an insult, aren’t we just ever so slightly sliding backwards, semantically speaking? What if the word “black” became twisted in the playground to mean “rubbish” and that entered the adult lexicon? Is _that_ cool? Suppose “Northamptonian” became shorthand for “lame”. That’s _so_ Northamptonian! Would I care? I sort of would, even if the use of it didn’t actually injure me personally. I think I’d care in priniciple.
>
> I know, the English language evolves and mutates the whole time, and that is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think this matter is as cut and dried as the governors do. Surely it plays into the hands of those who think being gay actually is rubbish. I saw a documentary on Channel 4 the other night about a college in America for Christians who really do think it’s rubbish. They think it’s wrong and deviant and unnatural and dangerous. They must be rubbing their hands.

Bless him. I love Andrew Collins anyway (in a butch, platonic way, of course. Anything else would just be a little bit _moyles_). This almost makes up for him being a pundit on _Doctor Who Confidential_ when they should clearly have invited someone from _The Stage_ in his place :)

Secondly, Jon Stewart of America’s Daily Show, who laid into right-wing pundit Bill Bennett on the hypocrisy surrounding politicians hawking round anti-gay marriage amendments to shore up their fundamentalist bases:

> Stewart: So why not encourage gay people to join in in that family arrangement if that is what provides stability to a society?
>
> Bennett: Well I think if gay..gay people are already members of families…
>
> Stewart: What? (almost spitting out his drink)
>
> Bennett: They’re sons and they’re daughters..
>
> Stewart: So that’s where the buck stops, that’s the gay ceiling.
>
> Bennett Look, it’s a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a women.
>
> Stewart:I disagree, I think it’s a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.

Thanks to [boingboing](http://www.boingboing.net/2006/06/07/jon_stewart_tears_op.html) for the link to [Crooks and Liars](http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/07.html#a8614), which has downloadable video of the show segment.

Or, you can just watch it via [YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru1M8VDpnAY):

If you’re part of the [72.5% of households with digital television](http://www.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2006/06/were_a_digital_nation_now.php), make sure you catch the Daily Show every weekday, 8:30pm on [More4](http://www.channel4.com/more4).